Winter's hair transformation took seven hours, according to her colorist Tabitha Dueñas of Nine Zero One salon
Credit: Courtesy Ariel Winter/Instagram

Ariel Winter may be a self-proclaimed hair chameleon, but for most of the past decade she’s had to remain loyal to the dyed-black color she’s worn to play Alex Dunphy on Modern Family. Now that the beloved 11-season comedy has come to an end, Winter is free to experiment with her look. So she booked a visit to celeb haven Nine Zero One Salon in Los Angeles and returned to one of her favorite hair colors — strawberry blonde!

“I’m a strawberry and a shortcake sooooo new nickname,” Winter, 22, cheekily captioned a photo of her hair transformation on Instagram Wednesday.

Over the course of seven hours, Tabitha Dueñas, Nine Zero One master stylist, took Winter from Alex Dunphy black to a golden shade of strawberry blonde.

“With Modern Family‘s long run ending, Ariel is finally free to have the hair color she wants,” Dueñas shared. “She wanted to strip out the black and go back to her strawberry golden blonde look we had done previously when she was on break from filming. She said she never wants to go back to black again.”

Dueñas stripped the black with color remover and then used multiple rounds of lightening cream.

“All colors were ammonia free,” she explained. “And we finished her service with the In Common Crystal Cashmere Treatment. Her hair feels as good as it does it did before we colored it!”

Last year, Winter told PEOPLE that a trip to the salon is the ultimate confidence booster for her.

“Every time I come out of getting my hair done I feel like a new woman,” she shared. “I’m pretty adventurous with my hair, I’ll try a lot of things.”

And while many fans associate her with a darker hair color, she’s in fact a natural blonde.

“People never guess, but my natural hair color is dirty blonde,” she told PEOPLE. “I’ve always had dark eyebrows so I was that person. I have dirty blonde hair and really dark eyebrows and dark eyes. I’ve dyed it so many times in the past so really the most important thing for me with my hair now is trying to keep my hair healthy.”